Brooklyn Center for Independence of the Disabled (BCID), et al., v. New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation and the Four Freedoms Park Conservancy
On March 16, 2017, DRA filed a class action lawsuit against the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation and the Four Freedoms Park Conservancy for their failure to make the Franklin Delano Roosevelt (“FDR”) Memorial accessible for persons with mobility disabilities. The obstacles include a flight of stairs at the very entrance to the Memorial; arduous, substantially lengthier and unpaved path persons in wheelchairs must undertake in order to avoid the stairs; inaccessible walkways; and, inaccessible gift shop and bathrooms. In addition, the area known as the sunken terrace, located on the southernmost end of the Memorial, is inaccessible as well. This terrace, which is located in the place of a fourth wall leading out of an open-air enclosure known as The Room, enables visitors to enjoy an uninterrupted, barrier-free view of the East River but can only be reached by steps from The Room. Taken together, all these pervasive obstacles indicate an alarming disregard for accessibility. This disregard carries an especial symbolic irony in light of the fact that the FDR Memorial was built in honor of a president who was himself a wheelchair user.
As with other cases DRA has litigated in this realm, our ultimate goal is to ensure that the Defendants institute a comprehensive remedial scheme that can meaningfully address the current exclusion of visitors with mobility disabilities from the FDR Memorial.